#BlackLivesMatter and Gaming

21 June 2020
Presented by Chris Berrow, Leigh Milner with Alex Rhodes. 
Production by Chris Berrow.

BLACKLIVESMATTER

Graffiti saying Black Lives Matter

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How the gaming industry responded to the #BlackLivesMatter protests, the amazing story of one granddad who met a friend online and visited him in California earlier this year. Also, the biggest release of the year is out: The Last of Us Part II. We also review Desperados III and Minecraft Dungeons. Plus, for Retro Revival, it's Burnout Paradise for the Switch, while our Simulator of the Month features Alex Rhodes and the subway. Good luck everyone!

In this episode

Graffiti saying Black Lives Matter

03:33 - How the gaming industry reacted to #BlackLivesMatter

How did the gaming industry react to Black Lives Matter protests?

How the gaming industry reacted to #BlackLivesMatter
Leigh Milner, Naked Gaming Podcast

Leigh Milner has the latest. 

Black Lives Matter protests have been taking place around the world, after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

And the world of gaming has been reacting in different ways…

Infinity Ward has announced it will be trying harder to ban racist names from its Call of Duty games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, including permanent bans for repeat offenders. They’ve also released a message supporting Black Lives Matters, which shows every time you start up the game. 

The indie gaming website itch.io… which has featured on this podcast before, released a gaming bundle of more that 1 thousand 7 hundred games… which you could download for a minimum donation of $5... the money went towards funding the Black Lives Matter movement. In 10 days they raised more than 8 million dollars.

Rockstar Games shut down access to Grand Theft Auto Online, and Red Dead Online for two hours “to honor the legacy of George Floyd”... and many other games companies posted their own tributes… 

However, as we record this podcast… several indie developers have removed their games from Steam to protest against Valve's lack of support for the Black Lives Matter movement… with one developer... Julian Glander… saying "Over the past few weeks, Steam and Valve have chosen not to address the Black Lives Matter movement, failing to make even a broad and generic statement about racial justice" 

Finally, Sony delayed the reveal of the Playstation 5 originally scheduled for June 4th… saying they did not feel it was “a time for celebration”.

A sign saying Gamerzone

05:31 - PS5 Reveal!

Sony revealed their new console the PS5, so what games are there?

PS5 Reveal!
Rhiannon Bevan, Gameluster.com

Rhiannon Bevan from Gameluster.com looks at the PS5 reveal.

“The Future of Gaming is here”… according to Sony:

In a two hour event that was streamed online we saw the actual console, new games and even discovered the “tech specs” of the console.

All in all... 26 games were officially announced.. Including… 

Demon’s Soul’s (never mind the apostrophes)

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Spider Man

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And... Horizon: Forbidden West

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And there’s a new version of Grand Theft Auto V, with extra content.

Plus we saw two versions of the console… the standard PS5 complete with 4K Blu-ray drive… alongside and a disc-less version of the console, called the “PS5 Digital Edition.”

It’s supposed to be able to play games in 8K resolution, which is a lot of pixels, but the reveal stream was broadcast in restricted quality because of the current coronavirus pandemic.

But when is it launching? The PS5 is coming to a living room near you in “Holiday 2020”... so... at some point before the end of this year. How much is it going to cost? We’ll have to wait and see.
 

 

A gamer at a computer

08:04 - eSports player retires aged 23

Why did one of China's most famous eSports players retire at the age of 23?

eSports player retires aged 23
Leigh Milner & Chris Berrow, Naked Gaming Podcast

Can gaming harm your health?

Chris Berrow - Now here's one for you, Leigh. I think you'll find this quite interesting. China's most famous e-sports player. Jian Zi-Hao has officially retired from gaming at the age of 23. He says it's because of ill health. He's known as "Uzi" online as in the gun.

Leigh - How can you retire? At the age of 23?

Chris - He said that gaming was actually making him ill.

Leigh - You could eat rubbish, play games and then go for a run.

Chris - This is interesting because in November, in China, they actually banned gaming for under eighteens, from 10 at night to 8 in the morning. So you actually cannot game between those times. 

Leigh - It's an interesting issue, isn't it? Because we know some people who play games all the time, they don't leave their bedrooms. And I think it is about kind of getting that balance of kind of enjoying gaming. Um, but I say that, but some people I've met people who are very, very competitive and, and they win thousands of pounds through it. So you can see why they're so dedicated to it. But it's also, you've got to get out there. You've got to have that kind of balance.

An Xbox controller

09:55 - Gaming Grandad

The story of a 74 year old, who games online with his friend in California!

Gaming Grandad
Chris Berrow, Naked Gaming Podcast

Garry Bowhill-Mann is a full time carer for his wife… a grandad, and at the age of 74, a gamer! He’s been using gaming to meet up with his friend Mike Nolan, who’s 71, so they can play Division II and Ghost Recon together...

Garry is based in East Anglia in the UK… Mike is in California...

They actually met online… but not so long ago they also met in real life for the first time!

Chris Berrow - I caught up with Garry and Tullulah Self - his granddaughter… who helped to make a film about his experiences called Game of Life… and we’ll hear from Mike as well later on…

Garry - Oh, I've always always played games. Yeah. I mean, going back right back when I was younger, I used to play chess and those things. I got a computer for my degree and I discovered you play video games on it. And there was one called Dungeon Keeper.

Chris - And games nowadays are so complicated and the graphics are so good. And they're, they're very realistic as well. Is that, I suppose, one of the attractions that brought you to some of the most current games, because the Division II is hugely, you know, complicated and it's about taking cover and stuff like that. I guess that's one of the attractions nowadays.

Garry - Yeah. Yeah. I mean your avatar, you sort of grow to it and you, um, it's a lot more technical now than the graphics are brilliant. 

Chris - Then tell us about this meeting. One of the key moments of the film is this journey and this flight...

Tallulah - We knew right from the start that to make this film work and make it a journey. We want to have the moment where they meet. I mean, at the time it seemed pretty ambitious that we were going to take my 74 year old granddad all the way to California. So I spoke to Mike because obviously we needed to get him on board and he was great.

GAME OF LIFE TRAILER

Chris - How often do you talk? 

Garry - We play every day at two o'clock and Mike comes on.

Chris - Yeah. What is the time difference? It must be super, super early for him. Oh, I see. Oh, you've got a clock there. That's so you know when to call him and you know, we're in kind of unusual, weird times at the moment, a lot of people are staying in more than they normally would be. But have both of you found gaming to be useful during this time, because I've certainly been playing more, more than ever myself.

Garry - Yeah. I mean, I think so, especially in my age group, because we've been really locked away all the time, it gives me an outlet and somebody to talk to, and actually talk about things that are going on. 

A playstation controller

Review: The Last of Us Part II
Chris Berrow & Leigh Milner, Naked Gaming Podcast

Chris Berrow and Leigh Milner review The Last of Us Part II...

Chris - So I've been trying to get in as much of this game as I can. I have to say, obviously it's amazing. Everyone's giving it 10 out of 10 reviews. Now I could just go. This is an amazing game. Buy it. Okay. You're going to do that already. Okay. It's a given and by the way, it's cheaper at some places - at Tesco it's £50 quid, and it's £55 for download.

The story follows directly on from The Last of Us Part 1... you start off by playing as three characters and they all come together and meet at a certain point.

Now two of the characters are the ones you've played this before, the other one called Abby. I really didn't care for Abby. I was like, why am I playing this? I couldn't be bothered. I was getting angry. But then the moment when they meet, it becomes clear why you're playing as her, and it's like mic drop.

The audio is a bit all over the place. So if you're watching the cutscenes, it goes too loud. And then there'll be talking like this (quietly).

It's still a 10/10 must buy though.

The Last of Us Part II is available now as a PS4 exclusive for £55, or £50 in Tesco!

A picture of a character from Minecraft

17:53 - Review: Minecraft Dungeons

What is the latest Minecraft release like?

Review: Minecraft Dungeons
Chris Berrow & Leigh Milner, Naked Gaming Podcast

Chris Berrow and Leigh Milner review the latest Minecraft Game...

Chris - Have you played Minecraft before? You'd normally run around in first person with a pickaxe and a bow and arrow or whatever, and you basically get smashed blocks up and build stuff with other blocks and you have great freedom. It's really exciting. Kids play it a lot and it's very creative. Okay. Now this is nothing like that. It's a top down kind of hack and slash or type game. The map looks exactly like Minecraft. So everything's blocky and it's out on the Nintendo Switch. It's just been released and you run around and slash the zombies and the spiders and whatever. And that's kind of it. And it's not, you can't build anything. You can't destroy anything in the environment. You're literally just playing a heck of a slasher in the world of Minecraft.

If you've got a kid who loves Minecraft and you want to be able to play the type of game that perhaps as a parent, you might be able to handle...

Leigh - but this isn't your bag at all.

Chris - It's just not a proper Minecraft. It's just got the Minecraft skin on a, on a boring slash a game. So it's this it's a 6 out of 10, but I would say if you've got kids,  get it because they'll love playing it.

 

A playstation controller

20:34 - Review: Desperados III

His the third Desperados game the best one yet? (Yes, yes it is)

Review: Desperados III
Leigh Miliner & Chris Berrow, Naked Gaming Podcast

Leigh Milner and Chris Berrow review Desperados III...

Chris - So it starts off with your dad saying I'll teach you the ways of being a cowboy. And then he throws a knife in someone's neck and little Johnny is like, Oh, I can help you, dad. I've got a coin that can distract the bad guy. So he throws a little coin to the corner and the bad guys go, Ooh, what was that noise? Let's go and investigate. And then his dad jumps down and brutally murders them all.It's horrendous. I was not expecting this for a game at all. 

Leigh - What is this like an age range of?

Chris- I think it's an 18. It's one of the most brutal games I've ever played. To be honest with you, it's a bit fiddly it's I really enjoyed it. 

It is available now for Windows, PlayStation and Xbox, but it's a bit too expensive at £45. Let's say six and a half out of 10.

Pacman ghosts

22:55 - Retro Revival: Burnout Paradise Remastered

Burnout Paradise is out on Nintendo Switch, should you buy it?

Retro Revival: Burnout Paradise Remastered
Leigh Milner & Chris Berrow, Naked Gaming Podcast

Chris Berrow and Leigh Milner review Burnout Paradise: Remastered

Chris - We wanted to go head to head in this game, but you can't play it two player!

Leigh - It's only for single people.

Chris - I forgot how bad this game was.

Leigh - Oh yeah. It's pretty bad.

Chris - So what you do instead of having tracks to race around, they give you a big city. They say you have to get from point A to B good luck getting there. But I want to race around the track. I want to do the crash events.

It's getting a 0. Don't bother 45 quid as well. Newly released for the Switch. 

Inside a flight simulator

25:11 - Simulator Special: Subway Simulator 3D

Alex Rhodes plays a game he really doesn't want to... Subway Simulator 3D

Simulator Special: Subway Simulator 3D
Alex Rhodes, Naked Gaming Podcast

Our transport(er) reporter Alex Rhodes is angry that he's having to play Subway Simulator 3D. But he gives it his best show.

Good luck "Big Al".

(THIS ONE IS A MUST LISTEN)

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